Writing for The Washington Post on Wednesday, conservative columnist George Will advocated a change to the Constitution to bar current or former members of the U.S. Senate from running for president — arguing that the incentive for senators to use their platform to mount a presidential run has turned the entire chamber into "theater".
"Banning senators from the presidency would increase the probability of having senators who are interested in being senators, and would increase the probability of avoiding: Presidents who have never run anything larger than a Senate office. Who have confused striking poses — in the Capitol, on Twitter — with governing. Who have delegated legislative powers to the executive — for example, who have passed sentiment-affirmations masquerading as laws: Hurray for education and the environment; the executive branch shall fill in the details," Will wrote.
In particular, Will focused in on Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — a senator he believes exemplifies how the office is misused for personal self-aggrandizement.
A few weeks ago, Hawley was accused of using the Judiciary Committee hearings for new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to make subtle nods to QAnon believers.
"The 328 senators of the previous 50 years have illustrated the tyranny of the bell-shaped curve: a few of them dreadful, a few excellent, most mediocre," wrote Will. "Although Josh Hawley, Missouri’s freshman Republican, might not be worse than all the other 327, he exemplifies the worst about would-be presidents incubated in the Senate."
"Arriving there in January 2019, he hit the ground running — away from the Senate. Twenty-four months later, he was the principal catalyst of the attempted nullification of the presidential election preceding the one that he hopes will elevate him. Nimbly clambering aboard every passing bandwagon that can carry him to the Fox News greenroom, he treats the Senate as a mere steppingstone for his ascent to an office commensurate with his estimate of his talents."
Will contrasts this with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who, he believes, is more responsible with Senate power because his bid to run for president already came and went.
"Were all persons with presidential ambitions deterred from becoming senators, this probably would improve the caliber of senators, and of presidents, and the equilibrium between the political branches," he concluded.
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